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Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Often, the best gifts aren't flashy

  • Fab.com sells unusual items like this pug T-shirt.

    Fab.com

    Fab.com sells unusual items like this pug T-shirt.

Have you ever said "thank you" through clenched teeth? The gift in that nicely wrapped box was so not what you wanted: comfy clothes instead of designer duds, or a kitchen gadget instead of a shiny piece of jewelry.
Sometimes, though, the best gifts are the ones you use, and, frankly, most of us probably wear hoodies more than haute couture.
Bradford Shellhammer, founder of Fab.com, which sells unusual items like canvas carryalls screen-printed with images of designer handbags, says gifts fit into three categories: the things everyone knows you want, the bad surprises and the amazing things that make you wonder, "How did I live without it?"
Shellhammer says friends and family can't ask for the items offered on Fab.com because the website sells things people don't know exist. Items such as a shower curtain with a map of Paris or a pug T-shirt for your favorite dog lover.
Gift ideas from the experts: kitchen knives, comfortable earbuds, colorful tights and leggings, berry bowls, miniature flashlights that fit in pockets and purses, pretty soaps, personalized tote bags.

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